Touching all the Bases: In a crosstown battle, one inning is all Richards would need to impose its will on Oak Lawn as the Bulldogs rolled to a 14-2 five-inning baseball victory on Friday. The game was played at Richards but had Oak Lawn as the designated home team. In the top of the first, Oak Lawn starting pitcher Bob Kametas seemed to have the game under control as he retired two of the first three hitters. Richards’ bats, however, got hot.
The Bulldogs scored seven straight runs with two outs to jump out to the early lead. Second baseman Jake Beiriger highlighted the inning with a two-run single that gave the Bulldogs a 5-0 lead.
In the top of the second, Bulldog shortstop Joe Lyons hit a home run to left field to give Richards an 8-0 lead. Richards added five runs in the fourth, highlighted by a three-run home run from left fielder Chris Elliott.
Richards starting pitcher Jon Danielson was able to keep Oak Lawn at bay, allowing one earned run in four innings.
Patch’s MVP: Richards first baseman Chris Elliott (2-for-4, 3 RBIs, three-run home run). Elliott’s blast in the fourth put the game out of reach.
Richards Leaders: In addition to Elliott, starting pitcher Jon Danielson (4 innings pitched, 4 strikeouts, 1 earned run). Shortstop Joe Lyons (2-for-3 2 RBIs). First baseman Ricky Palacios (3-for-4, 1 RBI).
Oak Lawn Leaders: Right fielder Cody Marek (1-for-1, 1 RBI). Senior first baseman Tony Swistek (0-for-1, 1 RBI).
Quotable: Richards coach Brian Wujcik on the Oak Lawn-Richards rivalry: “Over the years, we’ve had some great battles with Oak Lawn. A lot of these guys play together in the summer time. They’ve grown up together, they’ve gone to grammar school and to middle school together, so when they face each other, it’s always a good battle.”
Quotable II: Oak Lawn coach Brian Clifton on not letting the loss affect his team’s psyche: “Unfortunately, we have had lopsided losses throughout the year, and we’ve rebounded on a couple of occasions … we know we’ve got the talent to rebound, but we’re just not playing good baseball right now.”
Team Records: Richards is 15-5 overall and 9-2 in the South Suburban Conference, while Oak Lawn is 9-8 overall and 5-5 in the SSC.
What’s Next: Richards takes on Evergreen Park at home on Monday, while Oak Lawn takes on Washington Saturday morning, followed by Thornton Fractional South Saturday afternoon.